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We are Eastern Rite Catholics in union with the Pope, the Bishop of Rome. Thus, we are a Catholic Church and we share the same faith, beliefs and sacraments as the Latin Rite. All Catholics who attend the Divine Liturgy (Mass) with us fulfill their Holy Day and Sunday obligations as they do in their own churches, but also experience the rich traditions of the East.
Being Eastern Catholics, we have our own way of expressing our faith: through a Liturgy enriched by our customs and traditions. Our Liturgy is chanted in English but there is some us e of the original Church Slavonic. We believe that we are called to become partakers of the “Divine Nature” (2 Peter 1:4); more than “being saved” from hell and sin. We view ourselves as invited to live in the very life of God; to become intimately related to Him, to be physically united to Him, and have the Holy Spirit live in us!

As the disciples brought the Gospel to the far reaches of the known world, their followers adapted ceremonies of the Liturgy to the customs and music of the local people. Four great centers of Christianity emerged. They were Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome and Alexandria each with distinctive Christian customs, but the same Faith. When the capital of the pagan Roman Empire was moved to the Eastern City of Byzantium by the Emperor Constantine the Great, the city became known as Constantinople. The Antiochian Liturgy was adapted, and a new center of Christianity arose - the Byzantine Catholic Church, also known as the Eastern Church. From Constantinople, the Slavic peoples of Eastern Europe were converted by Saints Cyril and Methodius to become Eastern Christians. Over the years, the traditions of different Churches emerged based on ethnic background of their people and today Eastern Catholics are subdivided into 30 ecclesiastical jurisdictions. The jurisdiction for Holy Spirit is that of the Ruthenians, a group of people who lived at the base of the Carpathian Mountains, covering a large area between former Czechoslovakia, Romania and Poland. When the people from these ethnic groups migrated to the United States they brought their culturally rich faith with them. Over 1 million Byzantine Catholics live in the United States, with over 200,000 belonging to the Ruthenian Rite. Our Church is in the Eparchy (Diocese) of Parma, Ohio, and is open to people of all backgrounds. We keep alive many of the Slavic traditions such as Easter Basket Blessing, egg decorating, blessing of vehicles, homes, flowers, fruit, candles and Holy water on special feast days.

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